New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 26: Zhuangzi!
September 25, 2022 - 11:09
Howdy! Wildfire Games, the developers from 0 A.D. has recently released 0 A.D. Alpha 26: Zhuangzi. For those who are not aware, 0 A.D. is a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare that takes inspiration from the Age of Empires franchise. This game uses the Pyrogenesis engine, an open-source 3D RTS engine. Here are the updates from 0 A.D. Alpha 26: Zhuangzi:

Quote:
Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 26: “Zhuangzi” , the twenty-sixth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare. The release is named after the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou, who is better known as Zhuangzi and who wrote one of the most influential texts in Taoism.

Trailer






Easy download and install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. 0 A.D. is free software. This means you can download, redistribute, modify and contribute to the application under the same licenses: GNU Public Licence version 2 (GPL v2) for code and Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA 3.0) for artwork. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.






Don’t forget to deactivate every mod before updating the game to avoid any risk of conflict. If you’re a mod creator, please look at this page on how to port your mod to the new version. As always, feel free to reach out to us for assistance.

Top new features

  • A new civilization: the Han

  • New campaign maps: Tarim basin and Yangtze (optional add images).

  • Now, units have acceleration.

  • Twenty-six new music tracks.

  • New and updated art.



New civilization: The Han
After the 0 A.D. civilization roster has been constant for some years now, we are excited to announce the inclusion of a new civilization into the game: the Han.



This development has been in the making for a while. Work on the Han originally began as part of the mod “Rise of the East”, and the civilization was later included in the mod “Delenda Est” and was continuously improved by many volunteers until it ultimately reached a level where it matches the other civilizations in quality. The Han have beautiful new art, unique technologies, buildings, and (hopefully) also new gameplay strategies to explore. As usual, we tried our best to create a civilization that is extremely fun to play with, and that also pays respect to the actual history.



Therefore, now for a bit more of the historical background of the civilization:

The Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220–280). It is considered a golden age in Chinese history, and China made significant progress in arts and sciences during the Han period. The core of the Han empire was around the Wei River, and the Han capital was Chang'an, very close to the Qin capital Xianyang (both are now part of Xi'an, Shaanxi).

New maps
Two new maps accompany the addition of the Han civilization to the game :


  • Tarim basin: This is an endorheic basin in Northwest China, Xinjiang region. It is also called "The Western Regions" by the Han Chinese and represents the furthest extent of their power. The Han Chinese wrested control of the Tarim Basin from the Xiongnu at the end of the 1st century under the leadership of General Ban Chao (32–102 CE) during the Han-Xiongnu War and kept it until the Kushan Empire expanded back into the Tarim Basin in the 1st–2nd centuries CE. The map itself is bereft of life and offers little in the way of defensibility. The rugged mountain valleys harbor the only life in the form of hearty shrub and tree species and some goats.





  • Yangtze: The Yangtze, also known under the name Yangzi, or officially under the name Chang Jiang, is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country, from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea. During the Han dynasty, the region of the Yangtze River grew more important to China's economy essentially by the establishment of irrigation systems (like Dujiangyan) which made agriculture very stable and productive.


These maps were also added to the "Demo campaign - new maps".

Improvements
There are various improvements in this alpha, affecting all parts of the game. But the changes that will be most noticeable to the end-users are:


  • Better formation movement, especially turning and navigating through and around objects for more fluidity

  • Game interface usability improvements:

    • Most importantly: a slider to adjust the size of GUI elements.




  • Easier drag & drop mod installation

  • Interface and performance improvements for the Atlas Editor

  • AI improvements.


GUI
A player search field is available in the lobby if you want someone to play.

An extra button for seeing the summary page when quitting a session is now available. You can skip the summary if not needed, and the game will return directly to the main menu.

Some tooltips were added to the mod manager screen to help to understand that the mod order matters on settings and possibly to help to solve conflicts between mods.

Improved tooltips and visibility across the game.

The scale of the GUI is now resizable, using a dropdown menu. There is also a confirmation box with a countdown to revert scale changes.

Art
A lot of production and improvement for this release. Here is a resume (you can find all the details in this list):


  • Lots of texture improvements, better portraits, color adjustments, and fixes

  • Lots of 3D model improvements and better animations, new portraits

  • Complete restructuring and improvements on the Han before their integration into the release

  • 26 new music tracks including two themed for the Han


Gameplay
There is now a checkbox in the game setup to allow players to have Cartography auto-researched from the start of the match: allies can share the parts of the map each of them discovered if the option is selected. Formations can now be selected as a whole with one click, making them more of a “battalion” than before. Note that this behavior can be adjusted in the options. Use (civ-specific) standards.

It is now also possible to push items to the front of the Production Queue. This means you can now task a unit to do one immediately and then return to the previous tasks without repeating the orders. This can be done by using the hotkeys, so be sure to check out the hotkey editor.

There is now also a “Call to arms” button, which allows players with one click to order their soldiers to drop resources at the nearest drop site and then move to the destination (and attack everything on the way there) with a single button. The number of idle workers is now displayed on the respective button.

The olive tree is now a source of wood (as it was hard to see that it was a food supply).

With this release, we are introducing the Official community mod for Alpha 26 found here, where balancing and gameplay changes if introduced will be ported over to the next release of 0ad.

Balancing adjustments
With the help of several top-ranked players in the A25b lobby and the balancing team, many balance tweaks have been made in the past year. These tweaks mostly address concerns from the community, for example:


  • Decreased attack of Iberian fire cavalry.

  • The increased cost of mercenary cavalry.

  • Ships are less effective against humans.

  • Spear cavalry is now more effective against another cavalry.

  • Pikemen have lower armor.

  • Rework of the Ipicratean Reform (Athenians).

  • Catapults are stronger.


The result is a sleeker and hopefully more balanced gameplay experience in A26 compared to A25b. On top of the changes that were made to address concerns, there are also other balance changes, the biggest one being the addition of the Han, but also:


  • Units now have a slight acceleration (some more, some less).

  • Fruit and fish now have a small regeneration as long as they are not exhausted.

  • The Mauryan worker elephant is able to build (again).

  • Standardized animal loot experience.

  • Increased arsenal garrison limit.

  • Macedonian bonus: Instant storehouse technology research time.

  • Adjust Kushite Pyramids to be more used.

  • Removed tower and fortress limits.

  • Many other small tweaks and corrections.


Engine Improvements
This release introduces Texture quality and Anisotropic filtering in the renderer: you can choose between Texture quality Low, Medium, and High and Anisotropic filtering from 1x to 16x.




The engine got support for FreeType fonts, but, unfortunately, Asian, Arabic, Hebrew, and other languages still have to be bundled separately.


  • Added config settings for borderless fullscreen and window modes.

  • Use the high-performance GPU on Windows by default.

  • Many performance improvements and ongoing refactorings.


You can find a list of all the changes on the page wiki:Alpha26.

Team Changes
lyv and marder joined as team members. Silier retired. We wish to take this opportunity to thank them for their contributions.

Next Events
Play Sorbonne U, Festival Paris 1st October Open Source Experience, Paris 8th-9th of November Capitole du Libre, Toulouse 19th-20th of November

What’s next?
This release cycle was one year long, and it was a bumpy ride. As usual, for the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world, beginning with the letter A. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (c. 500 BC – 1 BC).

Support us
The work is still in progress, and we need your help to bring new features to life. Whether your interest is in art, sound, music, game design, Javascript, Python, or C++, 0 A.D. needs your help, and the team will gladly welcome contributions! You can support us by translating the game in your language at Transifex, contributing art or code, or simply donating.

If you experience a technical problem with the game, please report it at trac.wildfiregames.com. This is also the first address to visit when you wish to dedicate some time to help patch the code. Got any further questions or suggestions? Discuss them with other players and developers at the forum or talk with us directly in the IRC chat rooms: #0ad and #0ad-dev on QuakeNet.

Subscribe
See our new LinkTree. For press/media inquiries, please DM @play0ad on Twitter or webmaster at wildfiregames dot com.



For further information about 0 A.D., visit the Official Website. You can download 0 A.D. Alpha 26: Zhuangzi Here. And that's all regarding 0 A.D. for now. Stay tuned at PPM for more news about 0 A.D.!

OpenHV Campaign Missions and skirmish bots
September 24, 2022 - 21:28
Hi everyone! Mattias M. has posted some interesting videos from his project, Open Hard Vacuum, featuring campaign missions and a skirmish battle between two bots. For those who are not familiar with it, Open Hard Vacuum is a game that uses OpenRA Engine, and it is inspired by an old game called Hard Vacuum, which ended up not being released at all, except for its art graphics. Here are the videos:



















For further information about Open Hard Vacuum, visit its Official Website. And this is all we can offer for today regarding Open Hard Vacuum!

Starkku has open sourced some of his old Red Alert 2 modding tools, such as the Batch TMP Converter, CSF Tool, BAG File Tool, and the Trigger Index Param Tool. Here's what he said about it on Mod Haven:

Quote:
I open-sourced some of my older modding tools today. They can be found from the following links:

https://github.com/Starkku/BatchTMPConverter
https://github.com/Starkku/CSFTool
https://github.com/Starkku/BagFileTool
https://github.com/Starkku/TriggerIndexParamTool

Maybe they will be useful to some, maybe not



Feel free to fork it and make your tweaks, but of course, credit him for his work. And may we have better modding tools.

Scorched Earth MOD updates!
September 23, 2022 - 19:49
Howdy! G-E, the leader of Scorched Earth, has been busy recently working on it and shared many of its vehicles with us. For those unfamiliar with it, Scorched Earth is a modification for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge that does a massive overhaul with the game, although it retains its cannon and most existing units. AI is brutally harder and more challenging. It also features several new civilian assets, and asymmetric multiplayer maps, among other things. Here are the official words about it:

Quote:
Around 300 civilian vehicles later...



For further information about Scorched Earth, visit its Topic at PPM. And that's all regarding Scorched Earth for now. Stay tuned at PPM for more news about Scorched Earth!

Hello everyone! The celebration of the 19th Anniversary of Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour resumes, and, this time, there will be multiplayer game activities with the Generals World War II at 17:00 GMT. Their discord channel will also have a stream at that time where devs should present a new version of the mod there or their plans for it. In order to participate, join their Discord Channel and go to #network-chat






CnC-DDraw 4.5.0.0 has been released!
September 21, 2022 - 15:40
Hello ladies and gentlemen! A new version of cnc-ddraw has been released recently by FunkyFr3sh. For those unaware, cnc-ddraw is a rendering alternative for old games that uses Direct Draw, making them compatible with newer systems and improving their graphics. You can use it on games like Command & Conquer Gold, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Carmageddon, Carmageddon 2, Warcraft 2, StarCraft, Diablo, Diablo 2, Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, Theme Hospital, Populous: The Beginning, Outlaws, Dungeon Keeper, Dark Reign: The Future of War, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Atomic Bomberman, Dune 2000, Oddworld: Abe\'s Oddysee, Commandos, Red Baron 3D, F-16 Multirole Fighter, F-22 Raptor, Nox, among others. The changes from cnc-ddraw 4.5.0.0 were announced with the following words:

Quote:
Instructions


  • Download cnc-ddraw.zip and extract it into your game folder

  • Start the game


Game doesn't work? Please check the Readme file and the wiki.

Hotkeys


  • [Alt] + [Enter]                  = Switch between windowed and fullscreen mode

  • [Ctrl] + [Tab]                    = Unlock cursor

  • [Right Alt] + [Right Ctrl]  = Unlock cursor

  • [Alt] + [Page Down]        = Maximize window (Window borders must be disabled in config)


Changelog


  • Fixed some drawing glitches with Carmageddon

  • Improved Performance - does now use AVX (If available)

  • Added support for a few missing DirectDraw features

  • Fixed some bugs with the Total Annihilation Beta Patch

  • Added a preset for the Total Annihilation replay viewer (Viewer.exe)

  • Fixed alt+tab issues with the Direct3D 9 renderer

  • Fixed some bugs with the borderless mode where the cursor would lock sometimes even if the window didn't have the focus

  • New .ini setting "d3d9on12=true/false" to enable Microsoft's Direct3D 12 renderer (D3D9on12)

  • New .ini setting "game_handles_close=true/false" to allow the game to handle the close button in the window (no dirty exit)





You can check more information about cnc-ddraw by visiting their GitHub profile. Download cnc-ddraw 4.5.0.0 Here. That's all, folks! Stay tuned at PPM for more news coverage on cnc-ddraw!

Today (September 21st), the Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour anniversary celebrations continue with Generals Evolution.

Generals: Evolution is a total conversion for Red Alert 3 that recreates Command & Conquer Generals in this engine.

This is also Generals Evolution dev 10th Anniversary! To celebrate it, there will be a stream at the Generals Evolution Discord Channel at 16:00 GMT with a multiplayer event.  There will also be some new content stuff as a bonus.





Have fun and....yea, happy birthday, Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour (Yes! Today is the real date!)!